Friday, May 12, 2017

12th may 2017 daily global regional local national rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

World Rice Production 2016/2017

May 2017

This month the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the World Rice Production 2016/2017 will be 481.54 million metric tons, around 0.4 million tons more than the previous month's projection.
Rice Production last year (*) was 471.83 million tons. This year's 481.54 estimated million tons could represent an increase of 9.71 million tons or a 2.06% in rice production around the globe.

Rice Production by Country

(Values in Metric Tons)
China: 144,850,000
India: 106,500,000
Indonesia: 37,150,000
Bangladesh: 34,578,000
Vietnam: 27,861,000
Thailand: 18,600,000
Burma: 12,400,000
Philippines: 11,500,000
Brazil: 8,160,000
Japan: 7,780,000
United States: 7,117,000
Pakistan: 6,800,000
Cambodia: 4,950,000
Egypt: 4,800,000
Korea, South: 4,197,000
Nepal: 3,224,000
Nigeria: 2,700,000
Madagascar: 2,442,000
Sri Lanka: 2,350,000
Peru: 2,200,000
European Union: 2,070,000
Laos: 1,950,000
Tanzania: 1,848,000
Malaysia: 1,820,000
Mali: 1,800,000
Iran: 1,782,000
Colombia: 1,650,000
Korea, North: 1,600,000
Guinea: 1,435,000
Cote d'Ivoire: 1,335,000
Taiwan: 1,144,000
Uruguay: 966,000
Argentina: 923,000
Sierra Leone: 801,000
Russia: 703,000
Ecuador: 660,000
Senegal: 642,000
Australia: 627,000
Guyana: 560,000
Paraguay: 502,000
Turkey: 500,000
Dominican Republic: 477,000
Cuba: 433,000
Afghanistan: 403,000
Ghana: 396,000
Venezuela: 305,000
Kazakhstan: 291,000
Nicaragua: 290,000
Burkina: 250,000
Mozambique: 213,000
Mexico: 190,000
Congo (Kinshasa): 189,000
Suriname: 175,000
Iraq: 173,000
Liberia: 170,000
Panama: 157,000
Costa Rica: 155,000
Chad: 154,000
Uganda: 150,000
Benin: 138,000
Bolivia: 138,000
Uzbekistan: 135,000
Cameroon: 115,000
Chile: 112,000
Guinea-Bissau: 112,000
Mauritania: 106,000
Turkmenistan: 90,000
Togo: 80,000
Niger: 72,000
Kenya: 70,000
Honduras: 70,000
Haiti: 69,000
Ukraine: 42,000
Morocco: 37,000
Gambia, The: 32,000
Angola: 25,000
Guatemala: 23,000
El Salvador: 21,000
Trinidad and Tobago: 3,000
Somalia: 1,000
Brunei: 1,000

Next Update will be June 09, 2017.

Trump's FDA Commissioner Could Have Far-Reaching Impact on Rice
By Michael Klein
 WASHINGTON, DC -- President Trump's choice to head the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, was confirmed by the Senate this week and moves in to head the agency where he served as a deputy FDA Commissioner under President George W. Bush.  The regulatory agency touches the rice industry at several points and if Gottlieb takes the agency in a new direction, there could be significant impact for the industry.

First, the FDA oversees food labeling, and in May 2016 unveiled new regulations regarding nutrition fact panels, (see "Updates to Nutrition Facts Panel Could Spell Rice Rewrites," USA Rice Daily, June 1, 2016 ).  The new fact panel was set to take effect in July 2018 for large food companies and July 2019 for smaller companies.  Several food industry groups, however, have asked the Trump Administration to delay the rollout of the new labels by another three years.  (USA Rice has not petitioned the agency on this issue.)

There's been no indication how the petition will be received, however, the President, Dr. Gottlieb, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, (FDA is housed within HHS), have all made it clear they look upon regulations with a gimlet eye.

Additionally here, FDA has regulatory authority over not just statements of nutritional value, but food names and categories - something the rice industry has a growing interest in with the proliferation in the marketplace of "rice pretenders."

"Vegetables that have gone through a ricer are still vegetables, just in a different form," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.  "Only rice is rice, and calling 'riced vegetables,' 'rice,' is misleading and confusing to consumers.  We may be asking the FDA and other regulatory agencies to look at this."
The rice industry has also worked closely with FDA on food safety issues for the last several years. 

"We've had as constructive a relationship as a regulated industry and their regulators can have," Ward said.  "We had healthy and vibrant discussions and I always felt like, even though we disagreed at times, both sides listened to each other."

FDA is expected to continue its work "protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of...our nation's food supply," and U.S.-grown rice is surely a part of that safe, sustainable food supply, so the industry and agency will continue to work together.

"FDA is an important agency with a serious mission and we look forward to working with Dr. Gottlieb and his team," Ward concluded

GIEWS Country Brief: Pakistan 09-May-2017

Published on 09 May 2017 View Original

·         Wheat production in 2017 to decrease marginally from last year’s bumper level
·         Rice exports in 2017 forecast to decrease from last year’s high level but remain above-average
·         Prices of wheat and wheat flour declined in April with new harvest
·         Localized food insecurity persists
Wheat production in 2017 to decrease marginally from last year’s bumper level
Harvesting of the 2017, mostly irrigated, “rabi” (winter) wheat crop began in late March in Sindh Province in the south and will continue until mid-June in the main producing northern Punjab area. Overall, prospects for the 2017 wheat production are positive, with FAO’s current forecast pointing to an output of 25.1 million tonnes, slightly below last year’s bumper level but above the five-year average. The small decrease is the result of a contraction in plantings in the rainfed-producing area, which account for only 10 percent of the national output, following dry conditions during the planting period from September to December 2016. The rainfed areas in the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (located in the northwest) and Balochistan (located in the southwest) were the most affected by dry weather. However, adequate water supplies in the irrigated areas, coupled with the increased use of fertilizers and herbicides, boosted overall yield prospects and partly offset the decrease in plantings.
Planting of the 2017 main “kharif” maize crop is currently underway in the main growing provinces of Punjab and Sindh. The total area planted to maize this year is officially forecast at 1.2 million hectares, an increase of 5 percent compared to the 2016 high level, in response to sustained demand from the feed industry. Assuming good weather conditions, FAO tentatively forecasts the 2017 maize production at 5.5 million tonnes.
Planting of the 2017 main “kharif” rice crop is expected to start from late May. FAO’s preliminary forecast for this year’s rice output is 10.3 million tonnes, a 3 percent recovery from last year’s above-average level, assuming that plantings return closer to average after 2016’s reduced levels, supported by recoveries in local quotations.
Rice exports in 2017 to decrease from last year’s high level but remain above average
FAO forecasts Pakistan’s rice exports in calendar year 2017 at 3.9 million tonnes, 4 percent below last year’s high level but remaining above the five-year average. The year-on-year decline reflects reduced exportable availabilities, following the smaller crop obtained in 2016.
Wheat exports in the 2016/17 marketing year (May/April) are estimated to have increased by 13 percent from the previous year’s low level to 850 000 tonnes, in line with the 2016 overall good output and large carryover stocks.
Prices of wheat and wheat flour fell with new harvest
Prices of wheat grain and wheat flour, the country’s main staples, declined in most markets in April, when the new supplies from the 2017 harvest started to reach the markets. Overall, prices were above their year-earlier levels.
Overall food security conditions stable, but concerns remain in Tharparkar District and some northern areas
Overall, food security conditions in the country are stable following two consecutive years of good harvests and large carryover stocks of the main staples. However, food security concerns remain in some southeastern and northern areas of the country.
In the districts of Tharparkar, Umerkot and Sanghar, located in the southeastern parts of Sindh Province, below-average rains throughout 2016 sharply reduced the 2016/17 cereal production. This, coupled with losses of small animals (in particular sheep and goats) due to diseases and severe shortage of fodder and water availability, has aggravated food insecurity and caused acute malnutrition. At this point, it is critical that the most affected households receive appropriate and timely agricultural assistance, including rice and maize seeds, irrigation tools and fertilizers for the 2017 main season crops. In the livestock sector, there is an urgent need for feed and vaccines.
According to OCHA estimates, as of January 2017, about 3.2 million people were in need of humanitarian aid. Furthermore, OCHA data indicates that around 504 000 people (approximately 74 003 families) remain displaced within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, due to recurrent insecurity. These populations rely mainly on humanitarian assistance, including food aid, healthcare and other necessities.

A Lost Rice Variety — And The Story Of The Freed 'Merikins' Who Kept It Alive

May 10, 20173:04 PM ET
This upland rice is a remarkable link between West Africa, the Gullah-Geechee sea islands of the American South, and the Merikin settlements of southern Trinidad.
Courtesy of Francis Morean
A grain of rice, like a grain of sand, sifts through your hands with a mysterious and lovely sameness. Mostly white or tan, hundreds or thousands of grains pour smoothly out of buckets, out of burlap, into bowls, with a sound like small waterfalls. Rice seems so simple, really. And yet, because it plays a central role in world cuisines, these modest grains can carry the weight of history. Sometimes that history is deeply surprising.
Trinidadian ethnobotanist Francis Morean is living that surprise. The 56-year-old grew up in Trinidad's Palo Seco hamlet, helping his mother and grandmother plant "hill rice" in the garden once the late-spring rainy season had begun. They would punch checkerboard-style holes in the ground with stakes fashioned from tree branches, and drop the rice seeds in. After harvesting, they would dry the rice plants on large cloths sewn together and laid in the sun. The dried rice plants were shredded by dancing and stomping on them barefoot, the hulls removed in homemade mortars and pestles. The rice stored well for years and was, says Morean, a cherished dish at the dinner table.
"In Sierra Leone and many West African nations, rice was an essential part of every meal," Morean says. "So being able to produce one's rice was a major plus for persons of the African diaspora."
Ethnobotanist Francis Morean of Trinidad and Chef Benjamin "B. J." Dennis of South Carolina stand in a field of Moruga Hill Rice in southern Trinidad. This rice is a remarkable link between West Africa, the Gullah-Geechee sea islands of the American South, and the Merikin settlements of southern Trinidad.
Courtesy of Leonis Roberts
And this particular rice, in the words of David Shields, author of Southern Provisions: The Creation and Revival of a Cuisine, was "the most historically significant African diaspora grain in the Western Hemisphere." Last month, Morean joined Shields and assorted rice geneticists, scholars, growers and chefs in Charleston, S.C., to attend a day-long tasting and presentation on the history of this unusual African rice that is, nowadays, causing a bit of a stir.
It's a rice that traveled from Africa to low country — the sea islands and coastal plains of the American Southeast – and was grown widely in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky. While it was not a major commercial crop on plantations, for the enslaved Africans who worked them, it was a vital, edible link to the homes they and their ancestors had been wrenched from. It was then brought to Trinidad by formerly enslaved people called Merikins — a variant of "Americans" — where it thrived even as it vanished from U.S. fields. It is a seed that followed the slave trade, and its repatriation now may help fill in a critical missing link in Southern, African and Trinidadian foodways.
The rice belongs to the African genus called Oryza glaberrima, of which there may be 10,000 known varieties, according to molecular biologist Isaac Bimpong Kofi of AfricaRice Center. In contrast, there are more than 40,000 varieties of the Asian Oryza sativa, which most of the world knows and eats.
Originally called "red bearded upland rice" — and now dubbed Merikin Moruga Hill Rice — this strain gets its name from a reddish husk festooned with a "beard" of spiky plant hairs that protect it from pests and birds.
What makes this rice so special is how and where it grows. Rice loves water and thrives in coastal plains and marshes. But this strain can happily thrive upland, on higher, drier land — requiring, as the Pennsylvania Mercury put it in 1786, "no other watering but what they receive from the clouds."
Upland varieties of rice piqued the interest of many Americans in the late 1700s because it was thought they might compete with "swamp" rice and counter the mosquito-borne malaria infections that swelled in the coastal plains and swamps there every summer.
The red bearded variety came to America on a ship from West Africa. One of its biggest champions was President Thomas Jefferson, who sent the seeds to Charleston and Georgia. Shields unearthed a letter Jefferson wrote in 1808 in which he expressed hope that, if the upland rice "answered as well as the swamp Rice, it might rid them of that source of their summer disease."
In South Carolina, plantation owners who had already made fortunes growing Asian rice were indifferent to the new strain, according to Shields, who is a professor at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. But for enslaved Africans, it was a different story.
strain of red bearded upland rice grown by horticultural scientist Brian Ward of Clemson University.
Courtesy of Brian Ward
It "is probable that Africans recognized the seed, familiar from the markets of Guinea and Sierra Leone," Shields writes. On plantations of the Southeast, enslaved Africans grew the rice in their own backyard gardens, where they raised crops to supplement their often-meager provisions.
In exchange for their freedom, some enslaved Africans on the sea islands of Georgia volunteered to fight for the British and against their owners during the War of 1812. In 1816 the British settled these newly freed people in southern Trinidad, where they brought their favorite cultivars and called themselves Merikins.
In the Caribbean, the Merikins went on growing the rice, and it was adopted into the local cuisine. In the United States, however, the red bearded rice was displaced by more prolific Asian varieties and slowly went extinct — so thoroughly extinct that excavation and surveying over the last 40 years has not turned up a single seed or grain.
"An entire canon of lost Southern foodways vanished for 200 years," muses Glenn Roberts, founder of the heirloom grain purveyor Anson Mills, and president of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation, which is aggressively pursuing research on upland strains of glaberrima. "And I don't understand why it vanished. The best of the glaberrimas practically grow themselves." He says they grow well upland, like wheat, they're slightly drought tolerant but also comfortable growing in flood culture. They even do well "floating where roots do not contact soil."
Gullah chef Benjamin "B.J." Dennis prepared this dish of Moruga Hill Rice in coconut milk as part of a tasting of the African rice, during the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation's spring meeting at The Drawing Room, the restaurant inside The Vendue Hotel in Charleston, S.C.
Stephanie Barna
In 2015, Morean decided to take a trip to American libraries to research hill rice. "Articles in our archives on the island mention the connection of our rice to the Carolinas," he says.
But the libraries of Charleston, Atlanta and New Orleans, where he conducted research, contained no mention of the hill rice at all. "Nobody knew it was there," Morean says. "Nobody was writing about it, not even Judith Carney or Edda Fields-Black."
Carney is widely known for a luminous masterwork called Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in The Americas that explores the critical role Africans played in the rice production that led to such enormous wealth in antebellum South Carolina. Fields-Black, in turn, wrote Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora.
"I decided to hold a rice symposium on Trinidad, and invite everybody I could think of," says Morean, who was concerned that production was steadily declining on the islands. "I'd say there are only about 40 people still planting it, and most of them are over the age of 50. It's hard labor. The young people don't want to do it."
The symposium took place in December 2016 and drew, among many others, David Shields and members of the Gullah/Geechee community — the descendants of formerly enslaved Africans in rural low country, who keep many linguistic and cultural ties to Africa to this day. That included Marquetta L. Goodwine, who is chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (she's also known as Queen Quet) and renowned Gullah chef Benjamin "B.J." Dennis of Charleston.
"It was fascinating to see the rice cooked Merikin-style," says Chef Dennis, "in coconut milk, very starchy, almost murky. In contrast, Gullah cuisine prepares rice so that every grain is separate, like individual blossoms." Dennis says it's an easy-growing garden rice that he is certain will come back to the Gullah/Geechee community in the next few years. "Southern food in the U.S. is so similar to Afro-Trinidadian cuisine."
Roberts is determined to bring the rice back, and says that once it makes it through quarantine into the U.S., it will be genotyped to be certain that it is indeed the bearded upland rice of the late 1700s and 1800s.
The Carolina Gold Rice Foundation and Clemson University are now collaborating, spearheaded by Shields' research and documentation, as well as the skills of horticultural scientist Brian Ward of Clemson University Extension in Charleston.
Last year they obtained and test-planted 13 varieties of upland glaberrima obtained from the USDA's National Small Grains Collection in Aberdeen, Idaho. One of the upland bearded varieties is now growing in experimental plots in Texas, South Carolina and Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. "We intend to donate seed free of charge to communities across the South and Northeast," says Roberts of Anson Mills and the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation.
Interest in Orzya glaberrima is growing. In Africa, several organizations, including AfricaRice, are crossing upland varieties of African rice with Asian rice to produce hardier strains.
Roberts and Shields envision a time when red bearded rice and perhaps other upland strains can be grown by any gardener in their backyard, or even in a planter. That will be welcome news to Gullah/Geechee descendants and farmers, who might then grow their own ancestral rice once again.
Michael Twitty, a chef and culinary historian who explores African-American foodways and is the author of the forthcoming book The Cooking Gene, says there's always a risk that rediscovered cultivars will be subject to "cultural gentrification, where others repurpose the shell of our heritage. We have to know the value of our own African heritage. For us, these ingredients are part of a mosaic that comes with the blood."
Dennis agrees, and says, "It's up to us to tell our own story correctly. I feel our ancestors actually guide us and ask us to tell the story. And it makes my heart happy, chasing my ancestral roots through food."


PHL must import rice soon–Piñol 

In File Photo: A worker passes a sack of rice to other workers inside a National Food Authority (NFA) warehouse in Taguig City
The chief of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Thursday he has changed his mind, and is now urging President Duterte to allow the National Food Authority (NFA) to import rice for its buffer stock during the lean months.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol made the pronouncement following reports that rice prices have increased by as much as P100 per 50-kilogram bag.
“Let the NFA do the importation now, because the harvest season has ended. The NFA is complaining that they don’t have sufficient buffer stock. If it wants to import, it should be now,” Piñol told reporters in an interview on Thursday.
“I told the President that now is the best time for the NFA to import. And it should be via government to government,” he added.
Citing data from the International Rice Research Institute (Irri), Piñol said the country’s rice shortfall this year could reach as much as 800,000 MT. “However, this is much lower than the shortfall in previous years. The Irri study showed that the trend in the rice consumption of Filipinos is declining,” Piñol said.
“The Filipino family has become prosperous and, more often than not, when they eat outside, they only consume less rice,” he added. The NFA had earlier asked the interagency NFA Council (NFAC) to allow the government-to-government purchase of 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice, citing its difficulties to procure palay from farmers to boost its stockpile.
The food agency said it would need an additional 490,800 MT to meet the 30-day buffer-stock requirement of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council.  The NFA is mandated to maintain a rice buffer stock that will last for 15 days at any given time and 30 days at the onset of the lean months. Rice harvest is significantly lower during the lean months of July to September.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that as of April 1, rice stocks held by NFA depositories reached 327,240 MT, which is sufficient for only 10 days. NFA Administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino had been urging the NFAC for months to approve his proposal to import rice. “It’s always better safe than sorry, especially when dealing with our people’s basic staple. If the government does not possess the right volume of stocks when the lean months come, who would provide for the needs of calamity victims?” Aquino said last month.
The NFA chief had been urging the council to approve the purchase of the 250,000 MT of imported rice. The volume is part of the 500,000 MT standby authority granted by the council to the agency in 2015. Last month Duterte thumbed down the purchase of imported rice, citing the need to protect local farmers. The NFAC and Piñol had also been lukewarm to the idea of allowing the NFA to import rice.
Some members of the NFAC said they prefer the private sector to buy rice from abroad to prevent the food agency from incurring more debts due to government- to-government importations.
To boost its buffer stock and reduce its debts, Piñol asked the NFA to focus on the procurement of palay from local farmers. “In the future, if the NFA intends to increase its buffer stock, then it should buy local produce. Importing rice would only cause the NFA to be saddled with more debts,” he said.
Data from the PSA showed that Philippine unmilled-rice output declined by nearly 3 percent to 17.62 million metric tons (MMT), from 18.14 MMT recorded in 2015. The DA attributed the decline in output to onslaught of strong typhoons, as well as pest infestation in some rice-growing areas.

New Strains of Rice May Help Fight China's Diabetes Scourge

Bloomberg News
May 12, 2017, 2:00 AM GMT+5 May 12, 2017, 12:23 PM GMT+5
With a stack of small, brown envelopes in hand, Li Jianyue trudges through a rice field in southern China to gather grain specimens she hopes might one day fight diabetes.The obesity-linked disease is on a tear in China, and rice -- the country’s favorite staple -- is showing up in studies as an important contributor. The black kernels Li pinches off mature stalks with her fingers and drops into paper sachets have been bred to avoid causing the high spikes in blood-sugar when eaten that can eventually lead to type-2 diabetes.
China tops the world in the number of adults living with diabetes: 109.6 million as of 2015. Another 40 million could join the ranks by 2040 unless preventative steps are taken. Refined white rice is seen as an obvious target because the majority of the nation’s 1.4 billion people consume it at least once a day, and eating it has a similar effect on blood-sugar levels as gorging on white bread.
Li Jianyue
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
“The number of people with diabetes is surging,” said Li, a professor of life and environment sciences at Shanghai Normal University, treading between muddy rows of rice in green rubber boots. Still, healthier rice alone won’t tackle the problem -- it has to taste good too, she said. “So, we’re also trying to improve the texture.”
The rice experiments Li is working on -- under a giant bird net at a plant-breeding site about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Sanya city, on the southern tip of Hainan island -- are part of an international effort to improve the nutritional value of rice.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for example, is working with rice researchers in the Philippines and Bangladesh on rice enriched with vitamin A to tackle blindness.

Gut Health

The most important business stories of the day.Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, or CSIRO, is developing rice with more fiber so that it’s broken down in the lower digestive tract, where it can aid gut health and avoid the glucose-surge that can weaken the body’s response to insulin and eventually lead to type-2 diabetes. A separate program underway with the Chinese Academy of Sciences is seeking to pack rice with more vitamin B and E, iron, and zinc.
“Middle-class Chinese are now very focused on nutrition,” said Phil Larkin, a chief research scientist with the CSIRO in Canberra. “The rate of increase in type-2 diabetes in China is very frightening.”
A study released in 2013 estimated that China had 114 million people living with diabetes, or 21.6 million million more than a study three years earlier.

Black rice

Li’s experimental rice has a larger germ -- the embryonic part of the kernel -- than normal rice, she explains. That feature gives it more protein and less carbohydrate, which is converted into glucose during digestion. Her current work involves creating hybrids that combine that property with the taste and texture of the rice varieties popular on China’s populous eastern seaboard.
A rice sample developed by Li.
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
Black rice from her lab grown on a 1-hectare (2.5-acre) plot last year was sold to two local companies. Shanghai Microwells Biotechnology Co. removed the hull and blended it unpolished with white rice in a 20 percent blend. General Manager He Jianhui said it was a potentially risky move since most Chinese prefer eating white rice and believe that unpolished rough rice is inferior.
“But, now that more Chinese are seeking a healthy diet, we hope the unpolished rice can help people with the potential to develop diabetes, and that by improving their diet, they can avoid turning to doctors for medicine,” He said.
Refined white rice -- even varieties bred to have less of a detrimental effect on blood-sugar -- is still a nutrient-poor food, said Sun Qi, an assistant professor at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. Whereas whole grains, including brown rice, are rich in cereal fiber, minerals, vitamins, and beneficial phytochemicals.

Rice Yields

Hybrid varieties with increased vigor and disease-resistance have helped China achieve some of the world’s highest rice yields among major producers and remain largely self-sufficient in the cereal, even as consumption advanced 13 percent over the past decade driven by population growth.
Until recently, nutritional and processing quality had been overlooked in striving for yield improvement, said Zhongyi Li, a plant molecular biologist with the CSIRO’s in Canberra.
Annual per-capita consumption slipped to 104.8 kilograms in China last year, from a peak of 109.7 kilograms in 1997, as diets changed and improved food transportation gave consumers more choice. The nation’s wheat-based bakery industry expanded about 10 percent last year.
Making rice more nutritious and less likely to accumulate heavy metals, like cadmium, may help reverse the decline in per-capita consumption, and boost prices. Japonica rice futures on Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange have dropped 8 percent this year, while long-grain non-glutinous rice has advanced 2.7 percent.

Glycemic Impact

In the Philippines, the International Rice Research Institute, or IRRI, has identified the genetic basis of a component of starch that may be used to counter the cereal’s glycemic impact -- or propensity to spike blood-sugar, said Nese Sreenivasulu, head of the institute’s grain quality and nutrition center.
IRRI found in 2012 that the glycemic index, or GI, of rice ranges from 48 to 92 across more than 200 varieties from around the world. The sugars of low-GI food are absorbed more slowly, resulting in a gradual and sustained release of glucose in the blood, reducing the need for a surge of insulin that can eventually lead to insulin-resistance and diabetes.
“As of today, more than 430 million cases of type-2 diabetes occur worldwide and the problem is severe in developing countries like China and India,” Sreenivasulu said. “Many modern varieties have a high to intermediate glycemic index, hence breeding for low-GI is an important trait.”
— With assistance by Shuping Niu

Replacing one herbicide with another on resistance treadmill

Farmers could add Liberty and dicamba to list of resistant herbicides if they're not careful in coming months.

What happens if farmers follow the same practices they have when other new herbicide chemistries have come on the market over the last several decades?
If they’re not careful, they will simply replace one herbicide with another, as they did with Prowl and Treflan, ALS herbicides, glyphosate and most recently with PPO inhibitors such as Flextar and Reflex.
Dr. Bob Scott, Extension weed scientist with the University of Arkansas, says his colleagues have already demonstrated that pigweed could become resistant to dicamba in as few as three generations.
His comments came during this presentation at Pigposium 3 at East Arkansas Community College in Forrest City.

Asia Rice-Buyers turn to Vietnam as prices stay firm in Thailand, India
* Thai prices expected to remain high for next one to three weeks

* Indian prices stable on weak demand, higher local paddy prices

By Patpicha Tanakasempipat

BANGKOK, May 11 Buyers of Asian rice turned to Vietnam this week as prices remained firm in Thailand and India, traders said on Thursday.

Thai benchmark 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 edged up to $387-$392 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, from $380-$390 last week.

"Some ships are still loading," said a trader in Bangkok. Thai prices went up last week as exporters rushed to fill shipments amid a slow off-season harvest.

Prices are expected to remain high for the next one to three weeks, traders said.

Trade will likely stay subdued as rice-consuming countries in the Middle East prepare to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims around the world will be fasting.

Ramadan begins on May 26 and ends on June 24 this year.

Thailand's commerce ministry said on Thursday it will hold the second state auction of the year on May 24 for 1.82 million tonnes of rice.

Vietnam's 5-percent broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 was quoted at $355-360 a tonne, FOB Saigon, up from $350-$352 last Thursday on more active trade.

"Thai prices increased further, so importers turned to Vietnamese rice," said a Ho Chi Minh-based trader.

Vietnam shipped an estimated 1.84 million tonnes of the grain between January and April, down 8.8 percent from the same period last year.

Thailand and Vietnam are the world's second and third biggest rice exporters.

In India, the world's biggest rice exporter, prices of 5-percent broken parboiled rice RI-INBKN5-P1 were steady at $394-$399 a tonne this week as export demand remained weak amid a rally in local paddy prices.

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"Overseas buyers are not ready to pay more than $390 and Indian exporters couldn't cut prices due to rising paddy prices," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
"Buyers are shifting to other producers like Vietnam."Local paddy prices are rising due to limited supplies and aggressive buying by state-run agencies, dealers said.The Indian government buys rice from local farmers at a fixed price to supply subsidised food and meet any emergency needs such as a sudden spike in prices.
An appreciating rupee is also making it difficult for exporters to reduce prices, said another exporter based in Kakinada.The rupee has risen more than 5 percent so far in 2017, trading near its highest level in 21 months. A stronger rupee trims returns of exporters.India mainly exports non-basmati rice to African countries and premier basmati rice to the Middle East.
Bangladesh said this week it will import 600,000 tonnes of rice, parts of which will be from the world's top three exporters through government-to-government deals. (Additional reporting by My Pham in HANOI, Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI, Ruma Paul in DHAKA; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

Rice inventory declined by 20.35%–PSA

The country’s rice inventory as of April 1 declined by 20.35 percent to 2.68 million metric tons (MMT), from 3.36 MMT recorded a year ago, according to the latest report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Despite the decline in stocks, the PSA said the total rice inventory during the period is equivalent to the rice-consumption requirement of Filipinos for 79 days.
“Stocks in the households would be good for 42 days, those in commercial warehouses for 27 days, and those in depositories of the National Food Authority [NFA] for 10 days,” the PSA said in its monthly report, titled “Rice and Corn Stocks Inventory February 2017”, published on May 11.
Of the rice inventory as of April 1, the PSA said 53.86 percent were with the households, 33.91 percent were in commercial warehouses and 12.23 percent were in NFA depositories. Almost 76 percent of NFA stocks consisted of imported rice.
PSA data showed that NFA stocks during the period reached 327,240 metric tons (MT), while commercial warehouses accounted for 907,360 MT. Households accounted for 1.44 MMT.
“Year-on-year, rice stocks in the households increased by 18.09 percent,” the report read.
“However, stocks in commercial warehouses and in NFA depositories decreased by 9.77 percent and 71.12 percent, respectively,” it added.
On a monthly basis, rice stocks in households and commercial warehouses were higher compared with their levels in March.
The PSA said stocks in the households rose by 25.05 percent, while stocks held in commercial warehouses grew 44.73 percent.
However, rice stocks in NFA depositories declined by 17.57 percent.
Data from the PSA showed that the total rice inventory as of April 1 was nearly 23 percent higher than the 2.18 MMT posted in March.
The government periodically monitors rice inventory to determine whether it would need to import the staple to boost local stocks.
During the period, PSA data showed that total corn-stock inventory tripled to 1.146 MMT, from last year’s record of 365,110 MT. The corn-stock inventory as of April 1 was also 6.35 percent higher than the 1.078 MMT recorded in March.
The PSA said the bulk of corn-stock inventory in April, or 88.08 percent, was in commercial warehouses, while households accounted for 11.37 percent. NFA depositories accounted for only 0.55 percent.
Corn stocks in commercial warehouses amounted to 1.01 MMT, 130,390 MT in households and 6,270 MT in NFA warehouses.
“Corn stocks in all sectors increased compared with their levels the previous year. Stocks in the households grew by 14.47 percent, in commercial warehouses by 302.88 percent and in NFA depositories by 1,211.09 percent,” the report read.
“Compared with the previous month, corn stocks in all sectors grew. Stocks in the households were up by 4.59 percent, in commercial warehouses by 6.50 percent and in NFA depositories by 21.01 percent,” it added
DA pushes for immediate rice importation
By Louise Maureen Simeon ( | Updated May 11, 2017 - 3:53pm

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he is now backing the proposal of state-run National Food Authority (NFA) to purchase the volume via government-to-government importation scheme. The NFA is mandated to maintain a food security reserve good for at least 15 days at any given time. File
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is now calling for the immediate importation of the 250,000 metric tons (MT) of rice that will serve as the country’s buffer stock in time for the coming of the lean months.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he is now backing the proposal of state-run National Food Authority (NFA) to purchase the volume via government-to-government importation scheme, following the end of the harvest season.
“Let the NFA do the importation now since it’s already the end of the harvest season. Now is the best time to import and I told this to the president already because the world market price is plummeting,” Piñol told reporters in a chance interview.
To recall, the NFA has been pushing for the importation but the inter-agency NFA Council deferred the proposal.
Piñol maintained that NFA should start the process now as it would take approximately two months before the arrival of the rice, which will be just in time for the start of lean months in July.
“I was asked by the president on my views regarding the importation. This was a conversation between the two of us and he favors the idea,” Piñol said.
Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
But, the agriculture chief clarified that the planned importation should just be for the coming lean months and said buying from the local farmers is still a priority.
“In the future, if we do buffer stocking, my suggestion for the next cropping season is that NFA should no longer participate in importing but rather buy local for buffer stocking,” Piñol said.
“Importing rice bleeds government of resources and deepens their indebtedness. It will still be advantageous and cheaper for the government to buy produce from farmers than for NFA to import rice,” he added.
NFA has a debt of P152 billion as of end-April, a big factor that is being considered why the agency is being stopped from importing rice.
Should there be a shortfall in stocks, Piñol said the private sector must be the one to purchase from international sources.
“This move will stabilize the price of local palay because now the NFA will be able to buy more from local farmers,” he said.
Piñol also dismissed allegations that he is meddling with the NFA Council even if he is not part of the team.
“We are placed in a very unique situation. This department is part of food production but we are not being consulted in certain measures especially in terms of importation which will directly affect the profitability of farmers,” he said.
The NFA is mandated to maintain a food security reserve good for at least 15 days at any given time.
By July 1, which marks the onset of the lean season for rice, the NFA must have at least a 30-day buffer stock to meet the requirements of victims of calamities and emergencies.
Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the country’s rice inventory in March declined by 19 percent to 2.18 million MT, from 2.67 million MT recorded a year ago.
The agency reported that total rice inventory as of March was also five percent lower than the 2.3 million MT posted in February.
Despite the decline in stocks, the PSA said that the stock inventory of the Filipinos’ main staple remains sufficient for 64 days.

NFA to intensify campaign vs rice hoarders, profiteers

THE National Food Authority (NFA) vowed to step up its campaign against illegal activities in the rice industry, especially during the lean months of July to September.
NFA Administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino said he has directed the food agency’s personnel to “intensify” their farm and market-monitoring activities.
Aquino said this is in line with the NFA’s mandate under Presidential Decree (PD) 4, which created the food agency. The NFA is tasked to ensure the food security of the country and stabilize the supply and price of staple grains.
“While it is already a regular activity of NFA field offices to monitor and inspect not only NFA rice retailers, but also commercial rice traders for monitoring commercial stocks, NFA enforcers have been alerted,” he said.
 “The NFA management is wary that unscrupulous traders might take advantage of the situation to create artificial rice shortage by hoarding stocks during the lean months,” Aquino added.
Under Section 6 of PD 4, it is the function of the NFA “to inspect palay, rice and other grains stored by any person, partnership, corporation or association, for purposes of taking inventory and record of such commodities.”
The NFA is also authorized by law “to order the seizure, whenever there is hoarding of rice and other grains products, including facilities and equipment used in said hoarding, or whenever there is a scarcity of supply of such commodity in the consumer market and/or an unwarranted increase in the price”.

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- May 10, 2017
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-May 10

Nagpur, May 10 (Reuters) – Gram and tuar prices firmed up again in Nagpur Agriculture Produce
and Marketing Committee (APMC) auction increased demand from local millers amid thin supply from
producing belts. Fresh hike in Madhya Pradesh pulses and reported demand from South-based
millers also boosted prices.
About 1,600 bags of gram and 1,900 bags of tuar were available for auctions, according to

   * Desi gram recovered in open market on renewed demand from local traders amid weak
     supply from producing belts. 
   * Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here but demand was poor.

   * Major rice varieties reported strong in open market on good marriage season demand
     from local traders amid thin arrival from producing regions like Madhya Pradesh and
   * In Akola, Tuar New – 3,800-4,000, Tuar dal (clean) – 6,100-6,400, Udid Mogar (clean)
    – 9,500-10,900, Moong Mogar (clean) 6,800-7,200, Gram – 5,700-6,000, Gram Super best
     bold – 7,800-8,200 for 100 kg.

   * Wheat and other commodities moved in a narrow range in
     scattered deals and settled at last levels in thin trading activity.
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close  
     Gram Auction                  5,250-5,580         5,200-5,510
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                3,500-4,020         3,500-3,900
     Moong Auction                n.a.                4,000-4,400
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Wheat Mill quality Auction        1,500-1,630        1,500-1,630
     Gram Super Best Bold            8,000-8,500        8,200-8,500
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            7,500-7,800        7,500-7,800
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            5,600-5,700        5,600-5,700
     Desi gram Raw                5,950-6,150         5,900-6,100
     Gram Yellow                 7,800-8,000        7,800-8,000
     Gram Kabuli                12,400-13,500        12,400-13,500
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             6,200-6,500        6,200-6,500
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        5,700-6,000        5,700-6,000
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        5,300-5,700        5,300-5,700
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        5,000-5,200        5,000-5,200
     Tuar Gavarani New             3,950-4,150        3,950-4,150
     Tuar Karnataka             4,100-4,200        4,100-4,200
     Masoor dal best            5,600-5,800        5,600-5,800
     Masoor dal medium            5,200-5,500        5,200-5,500
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        7,000-7,500         7,000-7,500
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,500-6,800        6,500-6,800
     Moong dal Chilka            5,800-6,500        5,800-6,500
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            6,500-7,500        6,500-7,500
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 9,900-11,000       9,900-11,000
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    7,800-9,000        7,800-9,000   
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        5,800-6,400        5,800-6,400    
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,600-5,800        5,600-5,800
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          3,500-3,700         3,500-3,700
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            2,900-3,100        2,900-3,100
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)           3,300-3,500           3,300-3,500
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    3,900-4,400        3,900-4,400  
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,950-2,050        1,950-2,050
     Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    1,700-1,800        1,700-1,800  
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)         2,150-2,350           2,150-2,350        
     Wheat Lokwan new (100 INR/KG)    1,850-2,050        1,850-2,050
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,200-2,350        2,200-2,350   
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)   2,000-2,150        2,000-2,150
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,300-3,600        3,300-3,600   
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,600-2,800        2,600-2,800          
     Rice BPT new (100 INR/KG)        3,100-3,400        3,000-3,400
     Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG)        3,500-4,000        3,500-4,000   
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        3,000-3,200        3,000-3,200   
     Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)         2,500-2,800        2,500-2,800
     Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)       2,300-2,450        2,250-2,450  
     Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)      2,600-2,800        2,600-2,700  
     Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG)      2,400-2,500        2,400-2,400  
     Rice HMT New (100 INR/KG)        3,600-4,000        3,600-4,000
     Rice HMT best (100 INR/KG)           4,500-4,800        4,500-4,800   
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        4,000-4,200        4,000-4,200   
     Rice Shriram New(100 INR/KG)           4,600-4,850        4,400-4,600
     Rice Shriram best 100 INR/KG)    6,700-7,000        6,500-6,800
     Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)    6,200-6,240        6,000-6,200  
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    10,300-14,000        10,300-14,000    
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,500-7,500        5,500-7,500   
     Rice Chinnor New(100 INR/KG)        4,600-4,850        4,400-4,800
     Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG)    5,800-6,300        5,500-5,900   
     Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG)    5,400-5,600        5,100-5,300  
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        1,900-2,200        1,900-2,200   
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)         1,800-1,900        1,800-1,900

Maximum temp. 42.7 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 28.4 degree Celsius
Rainfall : Nil
FORECAST: Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 43 and 28 degree
Celsius respectively.

Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but
included in market prices)

Ghana imports $300m worth of rice in 2016

Category: General News, Lead MAY 11, 2017  168  0
Ghana imported some 689,000 metric tonnes of rice in 2016, and that cost approximately $300 million, according to an official of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Mr Benjamin K. Gyasi, the Acting Chief Director, said rice had become one of the most important food staples in Ghana during a mid-term review workshop of the Food and Agriculture Oraginsation (FAO).
The inception mid-tern review international workshop of the FAO, dubbed: “Strengthening Agricultural Statistics and Food Security Information in Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) countries,” is underway in Accra.
The two-day workshop is being attended by participants from CARD member countries such as Ghana, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal and Nigeria.
The workshop, which is being organised by the FAO in collaboration with Ghana, seeks to afford participants the opportunity to share ideas and knowledge on improved rice production practices.
Mr Abebe Haile-Gabriel, the FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Africa, said rice consumption in Africa was growing faster than that of any other major staple food crops.
“Currently, various kinds of efforts have been made in the development of the rice sector aimed at boosting production through improving productivity, market efficiency and viable partnerships along the rice value chain,” he said.  
He said one of the significant efforts in this regards was the CARD initiative aimed at doubling rice production in 10 years up to 2018, which was advocated during the fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV).
He said the Strengthening Agricultural Statistics and Food Security Information in CARD countries through South-South Co-operation was formulated in 2014, and had contributed to improving the capacity of CARD countries for timely collection and provision of reliable statistics on rice production.
He noted that the project had been drawing from experiences and know-how from the Association of South-East Asian nations (ASEAN) under the FAO’s South-South Cooperation Scheme.
“The FAO considers South-South Co-operation as an important mechanism for the achievement of its strategy framework,” Mr Haile-Gabriel said.
“Many developing countries face similar challenges in food security and agricultural and rural development, and in many cases, the geographic, climatic and socioeconomic conditions are similar. This makes it easier to adapt successful experiences to local realities.”
He explained that much of the technologies and capacities needed in developing countries already exist somewhere.
He said there were lots of benefits, which should be shared, transferred and disseminated.
“As countries share and exchange development solutions, they will be able to co-learn, co-innovate and co-develop and or improve mutually relevant and sustainable technologies.”
He said the FAO played the role of facilitating and connecting countries and institutions that had proven development solutions to exchange and share with countries in need of such solutions.
Mr Haile-Gabriel noted that since 1996, the FAO had been facilitating South-South Co-operation programme and had fielded more than 1,800 experts and technicians in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia and the Latin America and the Caribbean and the Near East.
Mr Kaoru Yoshimura, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, said one of the priority areas of his country’s assistance to Ghana was agriculture, which was the backbone of the Ghanaian economy.
“Japan focuses its assistance on increasing the productivity and profitability of small-scale rice farmers and strengthening extension system of rice-cultivation technology utilising its expertise in this field,” he said.
He said Japan also helped Ghana to promote large-scale production and commercialisation by upgrading production basis and distribution system.
He commended the efficacy of the co-operation between the FAO and the Japan International Co-operation Agency.
Mr Benjamin K. Gyasi, the Acting Chief Director, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said rice had become one of the most important food staples in Ghana.
He said demand for rice had followed an upward trend over a decade, as a result of population growth, urbanisation and changing consumer habits.
“Although local production of paddy rice has increased from 302,000 metric tonnes in 2008 to 688,000 metric tonnes in 2016, local supply had been trailing behind demand.
Government had to rely on imports to address this shortfall,” he said.
He said in 2016 for instance, 689,000 metric tonnes of rice was imported into the country, amounting to approximately $300 million.
Source: GNA

Government considering raising paddy MSP by Rs 80 for FY18

By PTI | Updated: May 11, 2017, 03.50 PM IST
Paddy is grown in both summer and winter seasons. But much of the paddy output comes from the kharif crop, sowing of which normally begins with the onset of the Southwest Monsoon.
The government is considering raising the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy by Rs 80 per quintal to Rs 1,550 for the upcoming 2017-18 crop year starting from July. The MSP of paddy was fixed at Rs 1,470 for the common grade and Rs 1,510 for the 'A' grade variety for the 2016-17 crop year that ends next month. According to sources, the agriculture ministry has moved a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultation and the proposal is likely to get the Cabinet nod soon.

The ministry has proposed Rs 80 per quintal increase in the paddy MSP for 2017-18 crop year. The suggested MSP for the common grade is Rs 1,550 and that of the 'A' grade Rs 1,590.

The price increase proposed for paddy, however, is slightly higher than the Rs 60 hike effected during the 2016- 17 crop year.

The proposed rates are in line with the recommendations of the expert body Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

Paddy is grown in both kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons. But much of the paddy output comes from the kharif crop, sowing of which normally begins with the onset of the Southwest Monsoon.

In the current year, rice output is estimated to have touched an all-time high at 109.15 mt, of which 95.09 mt were grown in the kharif season. The previous record was 106.65 mt in the 2013-14 crop year.

Rice is an important food crop in India and second most in the world.